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regenerative industrial food production as a catalyst for social change

My research aims to explore the adaptive reuse potential of an underutilized railway site by employing and promoting regenerative design strategies to accommodate more sustainable food production systems. My intervention will however be context specific and look towards the Upington region’s local agricultural community, climate, history, urban conditions, and natural systems for inspiration.
Upington, no longer such ‘small’ town, was also once subject to South African railway’s interconnected system of transport. As many other South African towns, the railway was implemented as a means of separation and segregation of certain communities based on race through apartheid spatial planning. The area is highly dependent on red meat production (specifically cattle and sheep), dried fruit production (specifically raisins), and tourism for its local economy. I intend to explore the processes and infrastructure involved in red meat and dried food production from cultivation, processing, and distribution- and the contemporary application of their associated industrial typologies facilitated through regenerative architectural principles and sustainable technologies. Buildings should engage more sustainably with their regional surroundings and connect to productive urban network and the surrounding contexts. New, updated, sustainable typologies of production should be realised and integrated into the urban forefront, ultimately creating areas with various programmes that allow for not only energy production, not also public concession.

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floris thirion

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